Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk
She took 1930s New York by storm, working her way up writing copy for R.H. Macy's to become the highest paid advertising woman in the country.Now it's the last night of 1984 and Lillian, 85 years old but just as sharp as ever, is on her way to a party. It's chilly enough for her mink coat and Manhattan is grittier now--her son keeps warning her about a subway vigilante on the prowl--but the quick-tongued poet has never been one to scare easily. On a walk that takes her over 10 miles around the city, she meets bartenders, shopkeepers, criminals, children, parents, and parents-to-be, while reviewing a life of excitement and adversity, passion and heartbreak, illuminating all the ways New York has changed--and has not.A love letter to city life in all its guts and grandeur, Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk paints a portrait of a remarkable woman across the canvas of a changing America: from the Jazz Age to the onset of the AIDS epidemic; the Great Depression to the birth of hip-hop.
Kathleen Rooneyis the author of poetry, fiction and nonfiction, and her work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Salon, and the Chicago Tribune. She works as a senior lecturer in English and Creative Writing at DePaul University in Chicago where she teaches, among other things, a workshop on The Writer as Urban Walker.